Choosing Your Service
Dog Candidate

A Nose to Tail Guide

About the course

After making the life-changing decision to begin training your own service dog, the next question is,
"How do I choose the dog with the best chance of success?" This is not a job for just any dog! 
This course has everything you need to find the dog with the greatest chance of success as your service dog.

Puppies are not blank slates.

Puppies are adorable lumps of DNA, their personal physical and social experiences, learning, diet, and environment. We'll share tips for choosing the tiniest candidate for this very important job.

What's a "good" breeder?

We know plenty of amazing breeders! We'll share what's important (and what isn't) when choosing the breeder who is going to give your puppy the very best chance for success.

Adoption is an option.

Want the best possible information for assessing adult dogs from rescue? We know what's essential when choosing a candidate from rescue. We've written hundreds of adoption bios and know how to translate shelter speak.

And much, much more!

Course contents

Jennifer Thornburg

Educator. Advocate. Dog Trainer. Mom.

Jennifer has two decades working with dogs and the people who love them. Her formal education includes multiple (impressive) certifications but she credits the dogs and humans she’s worked with for teaching her the most important concepts of behavior and training. 

Jen is committed to teaching dogs and humans without the use of pain, discomfort, or fear.  When she’s not training, Jennifer is trying to raise a good human who loves and respects dogs too. Jen enjoys time with her family and training her own dog to pick up things around the house and bring them to her.

Created with